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The Stoicism(?) of Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll – Did the Seattle coach just undermine his own belief in his players (and/or in himself)? [+ The -for reals- Stoicism of: LA Chargers Quarterback Philip Rivers]

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll is one of the most recognisable Stoics in the world (at least in the world of sports). And today, the Seattle Seahawks needed to win to make the NFL playoffs. But not only that, they needed another result to go their way, in a game that was going on simultaneously.

Coach Carroll made sure that the score in the other game wasn’t shown on the scoreboard during their game, or reported to the players, probably so it wouldn’t affect their performance (for better or worse). But whether Coach Carroll doesn’t trust his team to be able to block out other results –meaning it will affect their own– performance, or whether he isn’t all that Stoic himself is unknown.

Stoicism is about accepting what you can’t control and continuing on your same path, unaltered and unaffected (being aware of the existence of those results). It’s not about ignoring what you don’t control (or just hoping someone doesn’t tell you the other score).

The (for reals) Stoicism of Philip Rivers 

On the other hand, on the same day in Los Angeles, the LA Chargers also needed to win their final NFL game, and also needed other results to go their way (two, in fact). But Chargers Quarterback (and well-known Christian*) Philip Rivers embraced it, and made sure that his kids (sitting in a box in the crowd) would indicate to him with a thumbs up or down whether the other results around the league were in their favour or looking like shit. He made sure he knew the other scores. He didn’t control the other scores, but he didn’t ignore them, or delude himself about their existence, either. His performance is what he could control, the other results he had none over.

* Christianity = A sort of Stoicism.


Sidenote #1: The Seahawks lost (and missed the playoffs) but the Chargers won (but other results meant they also missed).

Sidenote #2: I avoided learning the results of other simultaneous results around the league too, so as not to ruin watching the game after without knowing know the score. That was purely for entertainment reasons, which I think I different from reasons relating to what you do, in the case of Pete Carroll.